Campus Police and Safety’s Open House

Getting to Know Campus Police and Kicking-Off The BC Cadet Program


Katelyn Harrison

Pictured from left to right, Chief Milton Franklin, senior Bekah Vaughan, and junior Kate Dear. At the Police and Safety Open House students were given a chance to meet campus officers and connect with other students. Students could also spin a prize wheel for a chance to win a free scoop of ice cream at Smiley’s Ice Cream, along with a new bicycle and free trip to the car wash.

Katelyn Harrison and Samantha Brooks

Bridgewater, Va. – On Sept. 24, Bridgewater College’s Campus Police and Safety department held an open house that featured corn hole, snow cones, cotton candy and the chance to win a free parking pass for a year. 

Campus Police and Safety decided to host an open house this year as a way to connect with students and give everyone a chance to meet the officers. 

“I think especially after last year, with everything being so hands-off, and only half the student population being back here, we wanted everybody to be able to come and see our faces and get to know us,” said Kelly Zander, campus police officer and director of the cadet program. “So there are familiar faces when we get into their bad situations, they’re like ‘alright, I know Kelly, so he’s cool.’ Knowing that we’re here to protect them, not to cause them trouble.”

Students were able to not only meet the officers at BC, but to also connect with fellow students. 

“I thought it would be a fun way to, you know, talk to people,” said sophomore Aly Heckeroth. “I wanted to get out and talk to people, maybe meet some new people, get to know other people better, you know, try to get to know our police and safety who do so much to keep this campus safe.”

The open house also featured the new cadet program at BC, including some of the current cadets. 

The cadets, who are student volunteers, are required to do patrols around campus and report back their findings to Campus Police. Cadets are instructed to look out for anything that could be potentially dangerous, such as blown out lights. Cadets are also tasked with keeping an eye out for suspicious behavior or signs that a crime is being committed. 

“Their presence alone is a deterrent to certain actions,” said Zander.

Cadets are also providing safety escorts for students who may feel unsafe walking alone at night. 

“I would definitely say we are making campus safer, without hesitation,” said senior David Sullivan. “I feel like I’m making a difference.”

There are many different reasons and incentives for joining the cadets. As of now, cadets have been given free parking passes for the year, but in the future Campus Police hopes to work with administration to make it a paid position. Campus Police also hope to make it that students earn experiential learning credits for participating. 

“I joined because I plan to be in the law enforcement field in the future, but at the same time, I care very deeply about this campus and I want to be here for the students,” said senior Richard Butler.  

The program was created last year when a BC student did an internship with campus police. The program evolved from there and officially launched this fall.

Looking ahead, Campus Police and Safety is considering hosting more events like the open house, as a way for students to connect with the officers. 

“This was the first big thing, it seems like it’s gonna be a success,” said Zander. “So we’ll probably do some more things like this throughout the year, just to keep people engaged and keep in touch with everybody that lives here and is part of the community.”